A Post-College Outcomes Study
Looking back. Thinking ahead.
is a special effort of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to learn more about the value and impact of the undergraduate experience. The centerpiece of this research study is a unique survey of recent certificate and degree recipients. The survey collects information on traditional economic outcome measures such as wages, employment, and career satisfaction,
but it goes beyond this.
The Virginia Educated questionnaire also gathers data about community involvement, student debt burden, personal networking and overall quality of life, and it allows you to provide feedback in your own words.
survey represents an opportunity for the state of Virginia to hear
directly from you
about your undergraduate experience and how it has affected your life – positively or negatively – so far. The survey offers a chance to
on the time you spent earning your certificate or degree. The survey asks if – and how – that experience has influenced how you work, how you feel, and how you interact with others around you.
provides an open door for you to share your reflections, observations, and recommendations with state policymakers. Would you help them
to the future of higher education?
More about the
survey: How does it work?
survey is administered in two ways. It is distributed electronically and by postal mail to scientifically-sampled alumni who completed an occupational or technical certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor's degree from a state-supported institution of higher education between 2007 and 2018.
What kinds of questions are on the
You can expect to see questions about:
Overall health/general life satisfaction
Specific college activities, like internships
Employment – for example, hours worked each week
Student debt – for instance, if and how student loans have affected life goals
Community activities, like volunteering
Staying in, or moving out of, Virginia after finishing your undergraduate education
General demographics, such as how many people live in your household
The questions are geared toward diverse student experiences, including but going beyond the traditional, full-time undergraduate student attending a four-year institution right out of high school.
Do I have to participate? What will you do with the information I provide?
Participation in the
In addition, if you choose to allow it,
your survey responses can be linked to administrative data currently collected and maintained by SCHEV. This may include information like degree(s) received, field(s) of study, wages, and student loan amounts.
We hope you will choose to connect your survey responses to administrative data. The linkage will provide researchers with more accurate and robust information, helping Virginia’s colleges and universities to make the education they offer even better for future students.
The decision to pair your survey data with SCHEV’s administrative data is totally up to you, and your eligibility to complete the survey itself will not be affected. If you choose not to permit linkage, your survey responses will still be a valuable part of the research.
All information received – whether from the
survey or from SCHEV administrative sources – will be kept strictly confidential.
At the end of the study, a report will be published. All results will be discussed in aggregate, and no individuals will be named. The report will be used by SCHEV Council members, staff, and others in future policymaking activities.
Who administers Virginia Educated?
is managed and conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory (VCU-SERL) under contract to SCHEV. The research is approved under VCU Institutional Review Board protocol HM20017308.
How is this study funded?
The General Assembly funds Virginia Educated in its 2019 session (HB1700, Chapter 854, Item 143 Q; see:
What if I want more information?
If you have any questions about the Virginia Educated research study, please contact VCU’s SERL team at:
PARTICIPANT INFORMATION SHEET (PDF)
Thank you for sharing your experiences!
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